Steuben Art Glass
Steuben Art Glass is decorative art glass made by the U.S manufacturer Steuben Glass Works.
It was established by Thomas G. Hawkes and Fredrick C. Carder in Corning, New York in 1903. Back then, Hawkes owned the biggest cut glass company in Corning. Carder who was an Englishman, had extensive experience designing glass for Stevens and Williams in the UK.
The history of the company all started when Hawkes, who before bought glass banks from other companies, decided to put up his own glass bank factory. Hawkes approached Carder and asked him if he wanted to manage his planned facility. Carder who at that time had been recently passed over for promotion at Stevens and Williams, readily accepted the offer.
In July 2008, Steuben was bought by Schottenstein Stores Corp.
Notable works and pieces
Aurene is one glass line of Steuben that is highly popular among collectors. It was developed by Frederick Carder in 1903 and was hailed as a new type of iridescent glass. Steuben was able to get a patent for it in 1904, the year after the founding of the company.
Tiffany a competitor of Steuben felt that the company stole its techniques when they developed Aurene and filed a case in court. The lawsuit however did not prosper when evidence was presented that showed that iridescent techniques had been in use since the 19th century.
For a time, Aurene was very popular and Steuben produced a lot of it. The company incorporated both Art Nouveau and classical themes in making Aurene pieces such as candlesticks, bowls, and vases. Gold was a color that was heavily used and oftentimes paired with red, white or green. The company also made large quantities of Blue Aurene.
Clear crystal pieces
The clear crystal was introduced to Steuben by sculptor Sidney Waugh, who replaced Carder. Corning Glass chemists though were the ones responsible for developing this material, which allowed all types of light to pass through it, including ultraviolet waves.
Waugh infused Art Deco themes in many of his clear crystal works. One of his notable achievements was the creation of the Gazelle Bowl in 1935. This large crystal bowl had gazelle engravings throughout its surface. The piece was so impressive that the Metropolitan Museum in New York decided to include it in its collection in the same year that the bowl was introduced to the market.
Engraved glass objects
In 1940, Steuben embarked on a collaborative work with 27 distinguished artists of that time such as Thomas Hart Benton, Paul Manship, Salvador Dali, Isamu Noguchi, Henri Matisse, and Georgia O’Keefe.
The resulting pieces were displayed in a two-month long exhibition in the Fifth Avenue store of the company. The engraved glass objects were so popular among the public that Steuben had to close the exhibit several times a day in order to control the crowds.
During this period, Steuben started producing crystal hand coolers that resembled animals. Also during the 1950s, Steuben designers began experimenting on individualizing their works, manipulating asymmetry, proportion and shape.
In the 1960s, Steuben made art glass pieces that were inspired by notable poets such as William Carlos Williams, W.H. Auden, and Marianne Moore.
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